Legal analyst Ryan Smith revealed that the NFLPA will challenge the results of the Deflategate appeal if any part of Brady's suspension stands.
#DeflateGate latest: NFLPA sources tells us if Tom Brady’s appeal results in suspension for ANY games, they’ll challenge in federal court— Ryan Smith (@ryansmithtv) July 15, 2015
There have been many recent challenges to NFL punishments. Earlier this year the player's union and Adrian Peterson contested the arbitrariness and harshness of the star running back's suspension for a case involving child abuse. The point of Peterson's hearing was not to examine his guilt or innocence on the child abuse charges; rather, the NFLPA and Peterson impugned the neutrality of Harold Henderson, the arbitrator assigned to the case.
At the time Peterson's attorney Jeffrey Kessler said, "Because of public pressure, because of the world, the Commissioner decided to make up a new rule for Mr. Peterson." Apparently, this argument was convincing because Peterson won his federal lawsuit against the NFL.
Kessler is also the attorney for Tom Brady, and the Peterson case is not the only one he has handled. He has also represented Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Jonathan Vilma, all of whom saw reduced punishments. If Goodell does not completely eliminate the suspension, Brady will be represented in federal court by a lawyer who has had an excellent track record advocating for players.
Just a few months ago, it seemed certain that Brady would not be on the field for the first game of the season against the Steelers. Now, the tables have turned. With the NFL's history of arbitrariness, and Kessler's history of success, it seems more than likely that Brady will be at the helm on September 10.